Antisense is the non-coding DNA
strand of a gene
. A cell
uses antisense DNA
strand as a template for producing messenger RNA
(mRNA) that directs the synthesis of a protein
. Antisense can also refer to a method for silencing genes. To silence a target gene, a second gene is introduced that produces an mRNA complementary to that produced from the target gene. These two mRNAs can interact to form a double-stranded structure that cannot be used to direct protein synthesis.